Paramore, a ‘transformative’ alternative band has recently released their self-titled album, Paramore on April 5, 2013. Since their emergence as a band in 2004, they’ve released 4 albums including their self-titled debut. Starting in Tennessee, with Josh Farro on the lead guitar and backing vocals, Zac Farro on drums, Jeremy Davis on bass, and Hayley Williams as lead vocalist formed the alternative sounding band. In 2007, Taylor York joined the band as a rhythm guitarist, who is now the lead guitarist. Based on the time of their emergence, it can be said that they were influenced by other bands such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Blink-182, etc. Hayley Williams, a very prominent vocalist has a very unique style. Not only is she does she hold a strong stage presence, but her voice is a power-house that holds qualities of versatility. She is personally influenced by Etta James. Throughout the progression of their four albums, it is evident that the sound of the band in general has transformed by influences including folk, reggae, gospel, and other alternative groups.
The last album before Paramore, Brand New Eyes, was the Farro brothers last involvement with the group. I have to say they were a success even with the loss of the two members. This divide fueled the lyrics for songs in the new album. “Fast in My Car” definitely touches on the loss of the two members, basically saying…
“We don’t need you!”
“The three of us were initiates, we had to learn how to deal.” (with the leaving of the Farros brothers)
“And we spotted a second chance, we had to learn how to steal.” (time to begin again/write more music/they don’t need the other members to be Paramore)
This opening anthem showed the world that Paramore can move on, and they certainly did, successfully at best.
The second song, “Now” has an awesome guitar carrying out throughout the song. It has an apocalyptic feel to it. The third song on the album, “Grow Up,” is one of the first songs on the album in which we hear the influence of reggae (similar to the music of the band No Doubt featuring Gwen Stefani). This is a very new sound for Paramore when analyzing their previous artist work to this current album. The sixth track, “Ain’t It Fun,” has elements of gospel music. Seeing their performance live, it was awesome to see how they integrated a gospel choir into their performance to give it the full whole-hearted effect. This song is very catchy because they talk about being independent in “the real world” and not having to rely on others (like crying to your mother when life gets hard).
“Still Into You,” one of the most arguably popular songs off the album was played on the radio and made it to the Billboard’s Top 100. It’s pop influence it was made it more mainstream. “Last Hope,” is probably my favorite song on the album. After seeing Hayley Williams perform it live. She described the song as an inspiration to the album and their progression as a band thus far. Things get better as time moves along. It is a song about hope for tomorrow, for the future. A very optimistic song, at that. The video of her live performance shows just how much enthusiasm went into her performance of the song.
In general, it is amazing to see the difference from when an album is released as audio tracks to when they are performed live. An audience is able to take the journey with the artist as they perform their artwork intended to form their identity and further please their supporters. It is important to note that the album has three interludes: “Moving On,” “Holiday,” & “I’m Not Angry Anymore,” featuring the voice of Hayley Williams accompanied by a ukulele. These acoustic snippets help that the album on its journey and growth from the first song, to the last on the self-proclaimed album.